Good Reads

Books for the season.

Around here, winter is reserved for skiing. Skiing gets us up early, keeps us occupied throughout the day, and sends us to bed early, in anticipation of doing it all over again. At O/B, the one thing we do make time for is reading—we are in the business of putting words on paper, after all. Here’s what’s on our list this winter.

Tracking Gobi Grizzlies
When we think grizzlies, we don’t think Mongolian desert, and neither did Doug Chadwick, until he went there. In Tracking Gobi Grizzlies (Patagonia Books, $25), Chadwick explores the home range of the rarest bear on Earth—there are an estimated 30 left—and returns to Montana with this message: we’re screwed, unless we decide to make the changes necessary to improve species-survival rates. In classic Chadwick fashion, the author drives home his points while keeping the material engaging and relatable, even though the drama is playing out halfway around the world. Tracking Gobi Grizzlies has humor, though it’s often dark, and is a quick read for any wildlife fan. 

Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks
While this project is about much more than words—it includes a web series and short documentary—the written accounts that connect each park are what bind it all together. In celebration of 100 years of the Park Service, Powder magazine solicited submissions from contributors across the country, all of whom had skied in some of the nation’s most famous national Parks. Monumental (Powder Books, $40) presents those stories, along with stunning imagery, maps, and park information, in a coffee-table format that makes a great gift come the holidays. Two of the five parks featured are even in Montana, and one is right next door in Wyoming, so start planning your next road trip. 

Snowshoes, Coaches & XC Skis: A Brief History of Yellowstone Winters
You’d think every book about Yellowstone had already been written, and indeed the canon of Park literature is vast. But that doesn’t mean it’s complete, and we stumbled upon a volume that deserves consideration from any Yellowstone buff. Snowshoes, Coaches & XC Skis (Roche Jaune Pictures, $25) presents the Park as seen through the eyes of a seasoned ranger, fire-fighter, fishing guide, wildlife researcher, and winterkeeper. Author Jeff Henry has seen Yellowstone from every angle, and his insight is another valuable perspective when it comes to the Park’s storied past.